Graduate Program in Neuroscience

Graduate Students

Our program thrives at the intersection of multiple disciplines, with our students coming from a variety of academic backgrounds, reflecting the rich tapestry of knowledge that defines the field of neuroscience. Contributing to multiple labs across various departments, our diverse student population brings a wealth of perspectives, ideas, and expertise to the table. This interdisciplinary approach is our strength, fostering innovation and collaboration that push the boundaries of our understanding of the brain. Get to know our exceptional graduate students, each contributing their unique perspective to the world of neuroscience:

Faeze Aminmansoor | Svoboda & Fairhall Labs (Physiology & Biophysics)

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Todd Appleby | Manookin and Rieke Labs (Physiology & Biophysics)

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Ari Asarch | Neumaier Lab (Psychiatry)

Preferred Pronouns: He/Him

Research Description: I research the neurobiological underpinnings of opioid use disorder, focusing on the role of direct and indirect Medium Spiny Neurons during self-administration, using cutting-edge neuroimaging and optogenetics to better understand how vulnerable neuronal networks can be targeted for intervention and help alleviate the opioid crisis.

Asad Beck | de la Iglesia Lab (Biology)

Preferred Pronouns: They/Them
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Mollie Bernstein | Zweifel Lab (Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences)

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her
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Research Overview: Dopamine (DA)-producing neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) play a critical role in modulating reward-seeking behavior, and dysregulation of DA signaling has been linked to a variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, substance use disorders, and depressive disorders. VTA-DA neurons are enriched in transient receptor potential canonical type 6 (TRPC6) ion channels, but the functional significance of this enrichment has yet to be established. My project investigates the role of TRPC6 channels in regulating the physiology and function of VTA-DA neurons, which will provide important insights into the therapeutic potential of this understudied ion channel in the central nervous system.

Shane Boniec | Manookin and Rieke Labs (Physiology & Biophysics)

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Mar Borrego | Ferguson Lab (Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences)

Preferred Pronouns: They/Them
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Research Description: Investigating the interaction of sex and opioid use disorder

Cassidy Burke | Stuber Lab (Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine)

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her

Sujin Byeon | Yadav Lab (Pharmacology)

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
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Raveena Chhibber | Brunton and Tuthill Labs (Physiology & Biophysics)

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Dickson Chen | Neuroscience

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Logan Condon | Palmiter Lab (Biochemistry)

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Kimberly Derderian | Neuroscience

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Ilse Dippenaar | Fairhall Lab (Physiology & Biophysics)

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her
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Research Description: I study how motor sequences are learned by creating models of how birds learn to sing.

Kristen Drummey | Perlmutter Lab (Physiology & Biophysics)

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Randall Eck | Kraemer Lab (Medicine Division of Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine)

Preferred Pronouns: He/Him
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Research Description: I study the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in a variety of age-related neurodegenerative disease using several model systems.

Research Overview: I use the genetically tractable nematode worm C. elegans to model several age-related neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, FTLD, and ALS. Through various genetic techniques, I identify novel modifiers of tau and TDP-43 neurodegenerative phenotypes in C. elegans and then explore the importance and translational relevance of these biological pathways in human disease using human cells, post-mortem brain tissue, and mouse models. My research is particularly focused on the ubiquitin-proteasome system, RNA metabolism, and phase-separated condensates and organelles.

Leila Elabbady | Tuthill & Collman Labs (Physiology & Biophysics)

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her

Research Description: Studying how sensory information is organized in the nervous system.

Jordan Elum | Zweifel Lab (Psychiatry)

Tomek Fraczek | Herron Lab (Neurology)

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Alex Garcia-Arango | Neuroscience

Preferred Pronouns: He/Him
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Nastacia Goodwin | Golden Lab (Biological Structure)

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Lydia Gordon-Fennell | Phillips Lab (Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences)

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her

Katherine ‘Katie’ Green | Perlmutter Lab (Physiology & Biophysics)

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Gillian Grennan | Fang Lab (Psychology)

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Pralaksha Gurung | Singhvi Lab (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center)

Holly Hake | Stocco Lab (Psychology)

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her
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Research Description: Holly’s dissertation focuses on using computational models to track memory decline in patient populations and neurostimulation protocols as a potential therapeutic intervention.

Research Overview: Holly is a 5th year doctoral candidate with a primary focus in computational psychiatry. She has a strong behavioral neuroscience background and is currently investigating the human brain using neuroimaging, behavior, and cognitive modeling.

Marina Han | Neuroscience

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Madelyn Hjort | Stuber Lab (Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine)

Arthur Hong | Rieke Lab (Physiology & Biophysics)

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Mary (Ye) Hong | Basso Lab (Biological Structure)

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Lawrence Hu | Brunton and Walker Labs (Physiology & Biophysics)

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Jessica Jones | Tuthill Lab (Physiology & Biophysics)

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Elena Judd | Bruchas and Palmiter Lab (Biochemistry)

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Rohit Kamath | Pasupathy Lab (Biological Structure)

Preferred Pronouns: He/Him/His

Research Description: Modulation of object processing by saccadic eye movements

Po-Chen Kuo | Walker Lab (Physiology & Biophysics)

Alexander Ladd | Neuroscience

Preferred Pronouns: He/Him/His
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Research Description: I am interested in utilizing ML and computational tools to better understand neuroscience.

Su-Yee Lee | Tuthill Lab (Physiology & Biophysics)

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Ellen Lesser | Tuthill Lab (Physiology & Biophysics)

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her

Research Description: Using new tools in connectomics to investigate motor control using Drosophila as a model.

Lila Levinson | GRIDlab (Neurological Surgery)

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her
Advisors: Jeff Ojemann, Steve Perlmutter
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Research Description: I study how electrical stimulation of the human brain can measure and influence connectivity.

Research Overview: My research interests center around using direct electrical stimulation of the human cortex to change the state of the brain. Using electrical stimulation, we can harness and direct the underlying natural flexibility of the brain to promote recovery after spinal cord injury and stroke. In addition to my research, I am passionate about science education and outreach, and about making academia, and STEM spaces in particular, safe and welcoming for anyone and everyone who wants to do science.

Anna Li | Steinmetz Lab (Biological Structure)

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her
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Belle Liu | Golub Lab (Computer Science & Engineering)

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her
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Research Description: Investigating the locus and mechanisms of decision making using latent based deep learning models

Research Overview: How does our brain make decisions? Where is this computation carried out? These are two long standing questions within the field of decision making. I am using latent based models to learn the underlying dynamics of a multi brain area dataset collected using large scale electrophysiology while mice perform a memory-guided decision making task. The goal of this project is to gain insight into how brain areas collaboratively communicate with each other to accomplish this crucial cognitive task.

Deja Machen | Neuroscience

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Nancy MacKenzie | Neuroscience

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Madison Martin | Bruchas Lab (Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine)

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her
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Research Description: Characterizing the function of locus coeruleus and pericoerulear zone activity in response to aversive and appetitive stimuli

Saghar Mirbagheri | Rao and Steinmetz Labs (Biological Structure)

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Cara Nielson | Shih Lab (Seattle Children’s Research Institute: Center for Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine)

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her
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Research Description: Pericyte plasticity in health and disease.

Research Overview: Pericytes are mural cells embedded in the basement membrane of capillaries. These cells serve myriad functions in cerebrovascular regulation and are lost at an accelerated rate in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Pericyte remodeling is a recently discovered phenomenon in which surviving pericytes extend their processes to recover the exposed endothelium after pericyte loss. I am utilizing in vivo two-photon microscopy to study both the mechanisms that control pericyte remodeling and the effects of cerebral amyloid angiopathy on pericyte growth.

Jeffrey Parra Munevar | Neuroscience

Preferred Pronouns: He/Him/His
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Rachel Oaks-Leaf | Neuroscience

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
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Jordan Ogg | Neuroscience

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Amanda Pasqualini | Neuroscience

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Makenzie Patarino | Schindler Lab (Psychiatry)

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her
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Research Description: I study the effects of alcohol consumption after blast exposure on aging outcomes.

Andy Pelos | Neuroscience

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Katherine Perks | Orsborn Lab (Electrical & Computer Engineering)

Wendy Piñon-Teal | Neuroscience

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Sarah Pugliese | Brunton & Tuthill Labs (Physiology & Biophysics)

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Javier Ramos Benitez | Neuroscience

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Vyom Raval | Manookin and Rieke Labs (Physiology & Biophysics)

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Dragos Rezeanu | Neitz Lab (Ophthalmology)

Preferred Pronouns: He/Him/His
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Research Description: Dragos is investigating the retinal circuits involved in color perception, with a focus on color appearance and color constancy.

Larissa Rominson-Cooper | Barker-Haliski Lab (Pharmacy)

Preferred Pronouns: She/They
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Research Description: Investigating how loss of normal Presenilin 2 function leads to seizures and hyperexcitability in those with Alzheimer’s Disease.

German Rojas | Singhvi Lab (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center)

Preferred Pronouns: He/Him
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Research Description: Examining the role of glia in a Parkinson’s Disease model in C. elegans

Sara Saavedra | Ferguson Lab (Psychiatry)

Sheridan Sargent | Rasmussen Lab (Biology)

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Sierra Schleufer | Sabesan Lab (Ophthalmology)

Preferred Pronouns: She/They
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Gabby Shvartsman | Neuroscience

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
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Research Description: I plan to apply systems neuroscience to develop therapies for neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders through stimulation and neurofeedback.

Princess Tarabishi | Neuroscience

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her
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Jordan Shaker | Steinmetz Lab (Biological Structure)

Ekayana Sethi | Zweifel Lab (Pharmacology and Psychiatry)

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her
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Scott Sterrett | Fairhall and Gire Labs (Physiology & Biophysics)

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Ellen Streitwieser | Buffalo Lab (Physiology & Biophysics)

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Vaibhav Thakur | Basso Lab (Biological Structure)

Kyle Thieringer | Neuroscience

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Monica Tschang | Schindler Lab (Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences)

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her
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Research Description: Exploring the role of the gut microbiome in the development of psychiatric outcomes following blast polytrauma via the gut-brain axis.

Joseph Voth | Keene Lab (Laboratory Medicine & Pathology)

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Christina Wang | Neuroscience

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Devin Wehle | Smith Lab (Seattle Children’s Research Institute)

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Connor Weiss | Sabesan Lab (Ophthalmology)

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Patrick Zhang | Fairhall Lab (Physiology & Biophysics)

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Yi Zhang | Neuroscience

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